Path of Totality (almost)

Yesterday, a good portion of the United States had the rare opportunity to experience a solar eclipse. Boise, Idaho wasn’t in the “path of totality” for the moon blotting out 100 percent of the sun, but we peaked just shy of it at seeing 99.5 percent of the sun covered.

And what better place to use nature’s pinhole camera than “The City of Trees.” Len and I used protective eclipse eyewear to view the sun, but we also enjoyed seeing hundreds of tiny crescents covering the driveway. We’d read in the newspaper that:

“A pinhole camera is the most simple image-projection technology there is. You can use a thumbtack to punch a hole in card stock, hold that card under a direct light source, and a tiny, exact image of that light source will be projected on the other side of the hole.”

“Sunlight filtering through the branches of trees will create a field of crescent-shaped light on the sidewalk below it. It’s the pinhole camera effect, multiplied naturally hundreds of time underneath each tree. Each gap in the leaves acts as its own pinhole, so you see an image of the eclipse in each of those gaps.”

Where were you during the eclipse on August 21, 2017?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Comfort Zone

Willa isn’t fond of getting in the water—at all. It takes courage even to get her paws wet. So when she stepped out of her comfort zone and into Lake Cascade, we were proud of her and happy for her.

Comfort Zone is defined as “behavioral space where your activities and behaviors fit a routine and pattern that minimizes stress and risk.”

Remember when the training wheels were removed from your bicycle? Or the first time you swam without water wings? Trying new things helps us expand our borders.

When was the last time you stepped out of your comfort zone?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Steam Heat

It’s the time of year in the Pacific Northwest to crank up the heat. Every time I turn the knob on our heating registers, I’m reminded of the Pointer Sisters rendition of Steam Heat. On the City of Boise website you’ll learn:

“Four independent heating districts operate geothermal systems within Boise that serve more than five million square feet of residential, business, and government space. Energy is produced locally and sustainably. Every gallon pumped out is injected back into the system.”

One of those four independent heating districts is historic Warm Springs, a tree-lined avenue that’s home to many of the Victorian-style mansions erected by wealthy miners and businesspeople around the turn of the 20th century. The area gets its name from the natural hot springs that flow from Boise’s fault line.

We live in the carriage house of one of the oldest mansions in the surrounding area (circa 1865). We’re fortunate that our minimalist space enjoys earth-friendly, cost-efficient heat from the hot springs throughout the winter.

I don’t get “steamed” too often, but when I do—it’s not pretty. A few of the large, small, and mid-sized things that get me hot under the collar are mistreatment of people (anything less than respectful), littering, and people who don’t take loving care of their animals.

What chaps your hide, boils your blood, or makes you hot under the collar?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Craters of the Moon

On the return leg of a road trip to Montana—we stopped at Craters of the Moon National Monument in the Snake River Plain in central Idaho. To see it, you’d think you’d just stepped off a spaceship onto another planet. Here’s a photo of the terrain:

According to the brochures we received at the visitor’s center:

“Craters of the Moon is a vast ocean of lava flows with scattered islands of cinder cones and sagebrush—a volcanic wonderland that is fun to explore. In 1969 NASA astronauts Alan Shepherd, Edgar Mitchell, Eugene Cernan, and Joe Engle explore the monument while training to visit the moon.”

It made me think about life on other planets; lifeforms we refer to as “Martians” or “Aliens.” If they visited us, they’d probably feel extremely out of place. On the flip side of that coin, we’d probably feel extremely out of place on their planets too.

photo-on-10-14-16-at-11-10-am

When was the last time you felt out of place?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

The Odd Couple

We live within walking distance of Boise Little Theater—Idaho’s longest running, all volunteer, community theater, where local thespians tread the boards.

Do you remember the television show The Odd Couple? When our little theater presented the female version, we couldn’t pass it up. In this gender-reversed rendition:

  • Oscar Madison is replaced by Olive Madison.
  • Felix Unger is replaced by Florence Unger.
  • The Pidgeon sisters are replaced by the Constanzuela brothers.

Instead of the poker party that kicks-off the original version, the curtain opens to Olive Madison’s messy living room where the girls have arrived for an evening of Trivial Pursuit.

Each of us has tendencies:
Some — like Oscar and Olive Madison — lean toward easygoing, creative disarray.
Others — like Felix and Florence Unger — lean toward fastidious, apple-pie order.

Which way do you lean?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Full of Hot Air

Typically the term, full of hot air is used in a derogatory fashion. For example, “Don’t pay attention to her, she’s full of hot air.” Not so at the Spirit of Boise Balloon Classic that takes place annually on Labor Day weekend. In fact, it’s a requirement!

The sound of hundreds of dragons breathing fills the air as spectators get an up close and personal look during inflation and liftoff. And while these ginormous bags of hot air look a bit unwieldy on the ground, they exude delicate dignity as they float gracefully against the backlit morning sky.

No strings attached, the pilot and passengers aren’t tied down to anything; they’re quite literally untethered.

Do you have any strings attached?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Smiling in Boise

I love the gift Len gave me to celebrate authorhood:

I’ve been thinking about getting him personalized aviation license plates that feature a small airplane and say “Fly Idaho” as opposed to “Famous Potatoes.” However, rather than 7 characters, they’re limited to 5.

An extremely thoughtful pilot, Len always hands out a “personal access bag” to each passenger prior to flight in the event of air sickness. With that in mind, I think BRFBG would be hysterical!

If you have personalized license plates, what do they say? If you don’t, but had hypothetical ones, what would they say?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com